This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
Tanguy Ndombele’s future at Tottenham Hotspur hangs in the balance, while several of his teammates are set to leave the club in the summer.
Jose Mourinho is acutely aware that he will be hampered by a tight budget in the transfer market, which means he will have to offload players to fund new signings, focusing on free agents and swap deals to revamp his squad.
However, fans should be reassured that Dele Alli is one player who won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Ever since he arrived at White Hart Lane from MK Dons in February 2015, Alli has established himself as a firm favourite with the Tottenham fan base.
Alli moved to north London from Milton Keynes for £5m and was loaned back to the Dons for the rest of the 2014/15 season as part of the deal. The midfielder, who was also wanted by Newcastle United at the time, scored 16 goals in 39 games in the Championship for Karl Robinson’s side.
He picked up the Young Player of the Year award at the Football League Awards which arguably set the tone for the rest of his career. A year later, he beat his teammate Harry Kane to the PFA Young Player of the Year trophy for the 2015-16 season.
Despite the fact he wasn’t expected to immediately break into the first team, Alli netted 10 goals in 33 appearances in his first full season in the Premier League. He scored his first league goal for Spurs in only his second game, coming off the bench to head home the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Leicester City.
His heroics on the pitch didn’t go unnoticed as he was soon called up for international duty. He started for England for the first time in November 2015, scoring against his clubmate Hugo Lloris in the 2-0 victory over France.
Perhaps aware of lingering interest from some of the club’s closest rivals, Daniel Levy convinced Alli to sign a new deal, keeping him at the club until at least 2021. Signing the extension spurred him on to even greater heights as he subsequently agreed to sign another contract, which extended his stay at Spurs for another year.
He bettered his tally of the previous season by scoring 18 goals in 37 league games in 2016/17, although the Lilywhites missed out on the Premier League title.
During Mauricio Pochettino’s final full season in charge, Alli only scored five times in the Premier League. However, he saved his best performances for the Champions League and supplied three assists as Spurs mounted a surprising charge towards the final in Madrid.
The Englishman picked up two assists and Lucas Moura bagged a last-minute winner to round off a resounding comeback against Ajax in the second leg of the semi-final. Although Alli and his team-mates ultimately fell short in their attempts to lift the coveted trophy, that Spurs came so close bodes well for the future.
It is fair to say that the England international has achieved so much in such a short amount of time, as it is worth remembering that he is still only 24 years old.
He struggled with a hamstring injury at the start of the season and he missed two games as a result. Nevertheless, Alli is the club’s third-highest goalscorer this term, just behind Kane and Son Heung-min, as he has scored nine goals in all competitions so far.
Evidently, all of his hard work has certainly paid off, as his valuation has risen sharply ever since he arrived at White Hart Lane. Starting at a mere £4.5m in July 2015, his market value has skyrocketed to £72m by March 2020. He is currently valued at £57m via Transfermarkt, but this slightly reduced figure is likely a consequence of the coronavirus crisis.
As Alli is still only young, his valuation will no doubt increase if Spurs can reach the lofty heights of some of their fiercest rivals. Nevertheless, signing him for just £5m was a stroke of genius by Daniel Levy, as he has been rewarded with three consecutive top three finishes and a historic Champions League final appearance.
The midfielder has had a stellar career at Tottenham so far and there could be plenty more to come from him.
Tottenham fans, do you think Dele Alli has been an absolute bargain? Let us know in the comments below!
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